By: Pam Powell, The Salad Girl
The origin of Salad Girl Organic Salad Dressings dates nback to my teenage years when I was hired at Madden’s Pine Beach Lodge in northern Minnesota as a dishwasher. All summer long, while tediously washing dishes, I watched in awe as the “Salad Girl” prepped fresh produce from local farms and blended delicious ingredients to make a variety of salad dressings for the resort. Oh, how I wished I could have that job.
By the end of the summer, my wish came true, and I became the Salad Girl. I didn’t know at the time that this chance introduction to fresh food preparation would lead to a life-long love for fresh, organic produce and to a rewarding career in the natural foods catering industry mand a company called Salad Girl.
Hand crafting unique salads with homemade, artisan vinaigrettes and fresh, seasonal, organic ingredients was definitely my forte. People ordered my vinaigrettes as gifts, and I often dreamed of bringing a fresher-tasting, organic salad dressing to market shelves.
In the summer of 2007, with loads of help and much encouragement from family and friends, my husband, Jim, son, Nick, his wife, Anna, and I decided to see if there really was a market for my fresh organic dressings. We decided on the name “Salad Girl” and registered it with our trademark attorney. We rented a small commercial kitchen space at our local armory and began sourcing ingredients at the local farmers market. Lastly, we bottled our yummy dressings, made by hand, to take them to sell at an artisan farmers market called: The Mill City Farmers Market in Downtown Minneapolis.
Four original flavors were started at the Mill City Farmer’s Market. They were the Crisp Apple Maple, Blueberry Basil, Pomegranate Pear and the Curry & Fig. In addition to those flavors, we now have our Lemony Herb and our 2 newest additions to the shelves, Chile Limon and the Toasted Sesame & Ginger — amazing as marinades, too.
To our delight we sold out every weekend. We were given some gracious foodie reviews by Rick Nelson of the Minneapolis Tribune and Kathy Jenkins of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that really helped create a buzz around our little adventure. One good thing led to another, and we were invited onto the refrigerated shelves of 8 of the Kowalski Markets. By certifying all of our dressings as USDA organic, we were able to find a way to scale up production enabling us to fulfill larger orders. By the March of 2008 we tiptoed on the stepping stone from commercial kitchen to co-packer and were able to fill our first order for the Kowalskis Markets! Salad Girl actually became the first Certified Organic Fresh Dressing For Fresh Greens on the refrigerated shelves in Minnesota.
From Kowalski’s Markets, we expanded to the Twin Cities Whole Foods Markets, Lunds & Byerly’s, and almost all of our neighborhood co-ops in the Twin Cities. In the past few years, we have gained shelf space at all the Whole Foods Markets throughout the Midwest, including nineteen stores in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, and have found our way into the West Coast Market Place in the beautiful Bristol Farms Stores.
Our lovely assortment of Salad Girl Organic Salad Dressings are inspired by seasonal garden flavors and colors. These inventive and vibrant flavor ncombinations will not only complement fresh greens, vegetables, and fruits but will put an extra “Wow!” on your rice, couscous, quinoa, ramen noodles and pasta. Our dressings are also marvelous as a marinade and dipping sauce for grilled meats, poultry and fish. The Salad Girl Organic Salad Dressing Company believes that eating fresh, organic goodness benefits us individually, communally and environmentally. We are committed to bringing healthy, safe and tasty organic products to your table.
Enjoy with Salad Girl.